What is a Scupper in Swimming Pool Design?

 In Custom Pool Design, Pool Area, Pool Construction

When you hear the word scupper, the first thing that may come to mind is a boat. Common in buildings and ships, scuppers are openings near ground or deck level that help rain to drain from an open-air structure.  Since boats can collect both seawater and rain, it is important for it to have proper drainage.  In swimming pool design, a scupper is a special feature that allows water to flow into the main pool area, often from a spa area.

Special Water Features for the Pool & Spa

As with their application in buildings and ships, scuppers help direct the flow of water.  Years ago scuppers tended to be simpler than they are today and served a more practical purpose.  Now that attention is being placed on the design aspects of scuppers as much as their function, you can see scuppers being used in a variety of inventive ways in luxury backyard pool areas.  Since scuppers impact where and how water flows, they can be used to create effects that are aesthetically pleasing and relaxing to watch.

Scuppers and their spouts can be made in a variety of shapes and sizes from materials including copper, stainless steel, oil-rubbed bronze, and stone.  They also can be installed in conjunction with features such as water bowls and fountains that are attached to a wall.  Pool areas may make use of scuppers in multiple ways due to their versatility.

If a raised spa is incorporated in the pool area, often scuppers are used to connect the two areas.  A hot tub that spills into the pool is making use of this design element.  From the standpoint of spa function, scuppers are useful for handling the overflow of spa water.

Other popular designs that incorporate scuppers include waterfalls, spouts, spilling fountains, ponds, and brooks.  The slots or spouts often can be seen coming from a wall that serves as a focal point in the yard such as a planter wall or a sculptural element.  Sometimes spillways are clustered to create a musical effect.

Promote Relaxation in Your Backyard Retreat

In addition to providing a visual effect and connecting areas of your pool and spa, scuppers provide a pleasing auditory experience.  Many homeowners include them in pool design as the sound of flowing water can promote relaxation and feelings of well-being.  The soothing effect of a scupper can help you to create the mood of a backyard retreat where you can escape at the end of the day or lounge on the weekend.

Whether you are exploring the use of scuppers to create a resort-like feel to your backyard or for their functional purpose, there are virtually limitless ways they can be incorporated in your design.  As with most water features, it is important to have scuppers properly planned by a professional pool contractor.  Make sure to discuss all of your design ideas so that you can achieve the optimal effect in your luxury swimming pool area.

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